It began with an article Meghan McCain wrote for The Daily Beast on Ann Coulter and the more strident of the conservative voices in our nation's political discussion. Ann Coulter did not feel dissed by it, however, or at least not strongly enough to go pubic with a response back to Ms. McCain. Unfortunately, radio talk show host Laura Ingraham did.
On her national radio show last week, Ingraham decided to tear into McCain by using a particularly low form of ridicule. She mocked her as a "Valley Girl gone awry" and she referred to her as a "plus sized model". The free download is now available on her web site: www.lauraingraham.com for you to form your own opinion. Ingraham speaks in what she would consider a Valley Girl voice and accent as she responds to snippets of McCain's interview on a morning talk show.
Meghan McCain responded to Ingraham in a piece in The Daily Beast by writing of her disappointment with Laura's choice of focusing on her body and not her words. She took cheap shots that are beneath her years of education and public punditry. Meghan wrote that this is just as offensive as the critics of her mother on the campaign trail who remarked that Cindy McCain is too thin and frail looking. She questions why women have to go there with the personal attacks instead of a discussion of political ideas. McCain said her intention in writing the piece on her opinion of Ann Coulter's tactics was to begin a dialogue among Republicans.
Let's be clear - Meghan McCain is not overweight. She is a healthy, normal size. She is not thin and she is not making a living as a model. Unlike her mom, she doesn't wear a size 0 jean. And, she's ok with that. She is not a Valley Girl, either. She is young and she is educated. She graduated from Columbia University and hit the campaign trail with her parents to support her father's bid for the presidency. She recorded the campaign on her personal blog - www.mccainblogette.com - and she now writes for The Daily Beast. She has written for Newsweek and she was an intern during her college years for Saturday Night Live.
Last week, Ingraham mocked McCain on her radio show after the daughter of former GOP presidential nominee John McCain urged Republicans to seek compromise with Democrats. Ingraham called McCain “a Valley Girl gone awry” and a “plus-sized model.”
As mentioned at CNNPolitics.com, on "The View" Meghan said,“What do young women think when I speak my mind about politics and I want to have a political discussion about the ideological future of the Republican Party, and the answer is, ‘She’s fat, she shouldn’t have an opinion.’ What kind of message are we sending young women?”
The View’s conservative co-host, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, called Ingraham’s remarks “a low blow.”
Ingraham responded to McCain once again on her show, telling McCain that she needs to learn to deal with satire and “teasing.”“Can I say ‘lighten up,’ or is that offensive too?”
Then, in Laura's E-Blast today she writes solely on her ongoing tussle with McCain. She begins "Memo to Meghan McCain: Enjoy the media coverage while it lasts, but know you're being used. You are the flavor of the month in left-wing media land because you are a Republican bashing the GOP. Likewise, your dad is most popular among the same people when he is slamming his Republican brethren in full-blown "maverick" fashion. At least he backs up his views with a lifetime of sacrifice and public service. What is Ms. McCain's own political, business, or real-world experience that lends credibility to her argument that the GOP needs to "moderate" (read: abandon its core principles)?
She ends with: "Next time, just for fun, Meghan should pretend that she's had a change of heart and is now a pro-life conservative. Then she'll really see how the Mean Girls treatment feels."
Laura Ingraham brings in John McCain, as she is not one to ever miss the opportunity to bash him. Ingraham is at least 20 years older than Meghan McCain and she should find a more productive and less personal way to debate her ideas. The fact that Laura Ingraham is so closed off to any ideas she feels are outside of her narrow view of conservatism is one reason younger people are turned off by the Republican party. Let's hope one day Ingraham will understand that.
Dialogue is good. The Republican party will be successful again as it reaches out to many voices with the common goal of fiscal conservatism and personal freedom. Social conservatives are not the sum total of the party. The Republican party is bigger than that and must move with the growing pains or the party will never go forward.
Enough with the circular firing squads. Lay off of Michael Steele and Rush Limbaugh. Let Michael Steele do his job. Let Rush do his job. Meghan and Laura have theirs to do, too. Laura Ingraham needs a bit less ego and Meghan will mature as she goes, too.
Let it go.